Focus on the Front Line: The Role of Floor Staff in Science Museums

January 1st, 2003 - Posted in 2003, Dimensions by Christina Jones

Dimensions coverIN THIS ISSUE
January/February 2003

Whatever we call them—explainers, guides, interpreters, facilitators, hosts—floor staff are the front line of our institutions, key mediators between the science center’s intention and the visitor’s experience. A sometimes under-valued resource, they may be full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer, trained in science or in communication. In this issue, we take a closer look at science center floor staff: who they are, what they do, how they are trained, what impact they have on visitors, and how they might affect future audiences.

CONTENTS
Face to Face: Examining Educational Staff’s Impact on Visitors, by Margie Marino and Judy Koke
• More Than a Coat, by Patricia Clizia
• Playful Attention: The Role of the Explainer, by Darlene Librero
• Crowd Pullers: Notes on Hiring and Managing the Ideal Explainer, by Anthony Richards
• Without a Script: The Art of Listening for Cues, by Margaret Zajonc Ostrenko
• Now Tell Me About It: Science as a Social Activity, by Sally Duensing
• Timely Transition: Floor Staff as Agents of Institutional Growth, by Luigia DeDivitiis

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